Apr 24

The Air I Breathe

keep-calm-and-breathe-deeply-26

I’ve had very mild asthma for most of my adult life. When I say mild, I mean I might have a mild attack once or twice a year…and that’s usually induced by spicy food or a dusty surrounding. I carry an inhaler, but rarely need it.

In the past, when I have one of these attacks (which is really a strong word for what they have been), I always know I’m going to be fine. My airways are thinned out, but I can tell that air is there. Now when I’m around other people, it might scare them a little to hear me gasp for air, but I know I’m fine. I use my inhaler and in a few seconds I’m back to normal.

Until last Friday night…

It was 4:30 am. I abruptly awoke, struggling to breathe, no air available to me at all. I jumped out of bed trying to breathe in as hard as I could. Nothing. No air at all.

I want to pause here and back up a bit. A good friend from England was visiting us last week. Her name is Laura and she’s just the sweetest little Brit you ever did meet! For the majority of the week, Laura resided in my oldest son, Blake’s room, since he was away at college. He came home on Friday for Easter, and we decided to move Laura to Hayley Grace’s room (my 12 yr old daughter) and move Hayley Grace into my and my husband’s room for the remainder of her stay. Yes, these are the issues faced when there is no guest bedroom and every inch of your home is occupied by someone all of the time! But you won’t hear me complain, the more the merrier!

That last paragraph may seem insignificant. It’s not. It was a divine provision by God. The simple act of moving people around in a crowded house could possibly be the act God used to save my life.

Back to my story…no air at all.

Hayley Grace was in my room sleeping and she also woke up. She saw that her mama was struggling, unable to breathe. She yelled for her dad (bless his heart…the heavy sleeper he is, he slept right through it) but she didn’t wait for him to act. I knew my inhaler was in my pocketbook (purse) and I began saying “pocketbook…pocketbook…pocketbook” as well as I could. (try speaking with no air…) Hayley Grace understood and ran to get my pocketbook…and there in the side pocket was my inhaler. My year and half old inhaler because I rarely have to use it. The first inhale did very little. The 2nd began to slowly open my airways up, enough to get some air, enough air, life-giving air.

My hero, my brave beautiful daughter, Hayley Grace. Who knew how God would use her that night? She doesn’t sleep in my room, yet she was there on this night, the very night I needed help. Coincidence? I don’t think so. God’s perfect provision? I know so.

I saw a doctor and received a breathing treatment, a shot in the bum (ouch!), and a lot of medicine to come home with.  Diagnosis: bronchitis headed for pneumonia with aggravated asthma. A week later, I’m still not 100%, but I’m breathing and for that I’m grateful!

I don’t know what would have happened if Hayley Grace hadn’t been there, if Laura hadn’t been visiting and moved to a different bedroom. Possibly, I’d be just fine. Or maybe not. I don’t know. What I do know though, is that HG was there. And God did provide and I’m ok. :)  I’ve never been so thankful for the air I breathe in all my life!

Me and HG ASU 2013

This event doesn’t scare me today. If anything, it’s brought me to my knees in awe and appreciation for the people in my life and especially for God Who never left me unattended. Being home on the couch all week resting has given me plenty of time to reflect and pray. I don’t want to take breathing for granted anymore. I don’t want to miss the miracle and overlook the blessings in the simple act of breathing.

Let’s not wait until there is an emergency to bring us to an awareness of simple blessings, let’s act now.

Take a deep breath right now. Thank God for that air you just took in to your lungs. You are alive and breathing.

Look around you. Thank God for where you are right now. You are alive and breathing.

Don’t take today for granted. Thank God for today. You are alive and breathing.

This song comes to mind as I end this blog post. You might remember it from quite a few years back. Enjoy :)

If you can’t see or hear the video posted here, click here. 

Is there anything in your life that you have been neglecting?  Have you been unaware of any blessings in your life? What can you give thanks for today that maybe you overlooked yesterday?

It is my prayer that this story will move you into an awareness of the simple and often overlooked blessings in your life today.

Thank you God for the air I breathe.  Amen.

Melissa
Apr 23

A Woman Reclaimed and Restored by her Savior

Today as I read my friend, Suzie Eller’s words in today’s Proverbs 31 Devotion, I could hardly believe they were about me.

Hi! Welcome to my blog…well I’m calling it a blog. As you can see, I haven’t blogged in a while. But oh, how I’ve missed writing on my own blog and so I’m so happy to be visiting with you today.

If you have popped over here from Encouragement For Today (the Proverbs 31 Daily Devotions), welcome! And if you are an old friend, who used to frequent my blog, welcome back!

I was a victim of sexual abuse. I use “was” because today I am no longer a victim, but a victor. That road hasn’t been easy, but because of our mighty, wonderful, caring, loving, and healing Lord, I can say that today.

In the devotion today, Suzie Eller talks about God’s forgiveness of sins. Read the key verse she references~

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”  Titus 2:14  NLT

When I first read this verse, my thought was selfish. This verse is great for when I sin, and I accept God’s freedom in forgiveness, but what about for my abuser…that man who sinned and took me as his captive?  But then…read on.

Suzie writes~

We often give thanks for His sacrifice that removed the debt of our sin. But there is more. Jesus took our sins, but that same act freed us from the effect of others’ sins upon our hearts and lives. ~ Suzie Eller

Not only am I free from my own sins through the power of Jesus Christ, but I can also find freedom from the sins of others who affected me also.

HELLO!!!! Can I hear a praise God and hallelujah about that!!!

My favorite line from today’s devotion by Suzie is this one~

If you were to ask Melissa who she is, would say she doesn’t see herself as a woman marked by a thief, but a woman reclaimed and restored by her Savior. ~ Suzie Eller

And she’s right. It hasn’t been the easiest road, but I’m here to tell about it. There is an unmatched power through Jesus that we cannot find anywhere else. How about you?  I bet you’ve had trials in your life. Maybe some that even affect you still today. Are you marked by a thief who stole from you or are you reclaimed and restored by your Savior?

Today, why don’t we take a step forward towards healing. There is freedom on the other side and we are not meant to live as victims, not with Jesus in our lives we aren’t.

Our Turn For Action:

Pray today’s key verse today. Pray if for yourself and pray it for anyone who has sinned against you. (I know you might not feel like doing that, I get that completely, but just do it ;)  Then give thanks for the sacrifice Jesus made that removes the debt of our sin and frees us from the effect of other’s sins upon us. 

I’m a woman reclaimed and restored by y Savior. How about you?

***Thank you Suzie Eller for sharing my story in your new book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places.

If you’d like to receive my blog posts automatically to your email, you can subscribe in the top right corner just below my picture. I plan on writing more and I’d love for you to join the discussion in my blog community! Thanks!

Melissa
Dec 3

Welcome to My New Blog Home!

Welcome Y’all!  Isn’t my new blog just so lovely?  I’m really proud of it. There were some very talented ladies who worked hard make it pretty and useful. Rebecca and Mandy, thank you so much on a job super well done! I couldn’t be more happy with it!

For anyone who might be visiting me for the first time ever or the first time in a while, welcome…or welcome back! Between 2011-2013 my blog kind of transformed from a regular blog where I shared what was on my heart to a full time online Bible study hub where thousands of women from all over the world gathered to do Bible study together. While the Bible study is still going strong, it has moved. I received one of the best blessings ever, when I became the director of Online Bible Studies at Proverbs 31 Ministries. When that happened the Bible study moved from here to there.  So now, anyone interested can join a free online Bible study over on the Proverbs 31 OBS blog or you can just hang out with me here and join me in talking about life and stuff…or you can do both!

What you need to know about me~ well not really need to to…but I’m going to tell you anyway~

I love Jesus and that will never change. My life isn’t glamorous or neat & tidy. In fact, it’s messy. I have issues. There are things that really get on my nerves. It seems like there is usually a circumstance I’m going through that is out of my control and challenges my trust of God. But I choose to trust Him and that’s what gets me through. And He keeps on loving me despite me! Thank you Lord!

I love my family. I’ve been married to Jeff for 23 years and we have 4 children. Blake, 20, is a sophomore at Appalachian State University. Hayden, 18, is a senior in high school. Dylan, 16, is a sophomore in high school. Hayley Grace, 12, is in the 7th grade. Maggie and Princess (both are 9) are the cutest doggies you ever did see. We are an imperfect bunch who strive to live together in harmony and I think we do that well. We tackle the world together, but we also have a lot of fun together too. Best of all, we pray for each other. I can always count on prayer from them. Pictured below: Hayden, Dylan holding Maggie, Jeff, Blake holding Princess, me, and Hayley Grace

Taylor Family w dogs Blake's graduation

I love people. I love hanging out with people…in person and online. I love connecting with friends on my blog, in online Bible study, on Twitter  (@MelissaRTaylor) and on Instagram (MelissaRTaylor) . Unlike many, I do believe that meaningful friendships can be made online. I have many really good friends that I have never met in person. There is no criteria to be my friend…except that you are nice to me :)

I love life! Life in general intrigues me. People, places, animals, things, music…I can find joy in the littlest things.

I love college football. South Carolina Gamecocks & Appalachian State Mountaineers. That will never change either. :)  See below, my husband Jeff, great friend Amy, and me getting ready to watch our Gamecocks play…and win!

Gamecock Football Blog 2013

I love Walt Disney World. As you can see, Goofy and I are great friends.

Walt Disney World Love 2013 Goofy

I don’t love getting out of bed in the morning, but once I’m up, I’m good.

I like to watch TV and some of the shows you might not approve of. They aren’t rated R or anything like that, but some might think I’m filling my brain with useless material. I don’t take it seriously though. TV helps me unwind and just chill when I’ve been going non stop all day.

I get to work with some of the most amazing ladies God ever created at Proverbs 31 Ministries & P31 OBS. Seriously, my job isn’t like a job at all. It’s like a passion, hobby, and calling all wrapped into one. I love being the Online Bible Studies Director, I love the OBS team, and I have to limit the time I spend working so I can balance my life in a healthy way. I love my job that much. Pictured below, some of our awesome P31 OBS ladies on the Girls’ Getaway Cruise last October.

OBS Team Cruise

I need to lose weight. Not so I’ll look good, but because I’m not at a healthy weight for me right now. You’ll hear more about this I’m sure. #struggle #ugh #haha

I believe there is hope in any and every situation. I believe there is hope for every person. I believe we are all worth fighting for.

 

And I also believe I’ve written enough for my first blog post in such a long time.

Whether you are here for the first time or we are old friends, thank you so much for visiting my blog home today. Let’s try to get together a few times a week and just chat about life and stuff. You can sign up to receive my blog in the top right hand column, that way you won’t need to remember to visit. But I want you to know, you are always welcome and invited here. It’s my prayer you can feel that.

I’ve told you a lot about me, now tell me about you. In the comment section, please share some things about yourself. I love to read notes from my bloggy friends and hear what’s going on in your life too!

Happy Day! Thanks again for stopping by :)

Melissa